What is a Sound Card and Why are they Used?

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Sound cards are considered a very important piece of equipment for avid gamers, music enthusiast or movie buffs. They are great devices that can be utilised in many pieces of equipment to enhance the sound quality that you receive.

What is a Sound Card?

A sound card is an expansion card that allows many devices, such as your headphones or speaker system to receive audio from your computer or laptop. Whilst a sound card is considered an important piece of equipment, your computer or laptop can run without one.

The main benefit of investing in a decent sound card is the high quality level of sound that can be experienced by the user. Some devices come with a built in sound card, these are considered to be high end products.


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There is a very noticeable difference between products with and without a sound card. If you are serious about sound, you must invest in one. If you know that you will require the best sound card on your devices, please spend some time confirming that your device comes with one before purchasing.

The Different Types of Sound Cards

There are three main types of sound cards that can be used to enhance a devices sound quality.

1. Integrated Sound Cards

An internal sound card are built into the motherboard of you computer, many of the more recent models will have these already built in.

These built in cards are usually powerful enough to use in your home, but some users opt to purchase an additional one for more power. These two options are described below.

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2. Internal Discrete Sound Cards

Internal discrete sound cards are sold as an additional card that is installed onto the motherboard of your device, like the integrated sound card. These allow the user to experience a myriad of benefits, if you are integrating them with the correct products.

These cards work wonders if you have high-tech speakers or headphones to listen to music with, play games on or watch movies through. A great example where an internal discrete sound card is vital would be in creating a home studio space.

3. External discrete sound cards

An external discrete sound card is usually placed outside of your device, unlike the internal sound cards. These are usually connected to your PC via a USB connection. They are most compatible for improving the sound of a notebook or other apple products.

Where Can You Purchase a Sound Card?

In many cases sound cards come built-in to your devices, so there is no reason to worry bout buying one. Nevertheless, some products do not come with them built in, or they can become weakened or faulty overtime, meaning they will need to be replaced.

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Purchasing a sound card is relatively easy, although some people consider them an out dated, making them harder to source. Most technology-based retailers stock high-end, powerful sound cards.

There are a lot of online retailers that still specialise in sound cards too. This means that you can find the exact product you are looking for. These online retailers offer their customers chat options to help them better share their pc or laptops details. That way they can better match a correct sound card to their needs.

What Are Sound Cards Used For?

Sound cards are primarily used to increase the sound quality you receive from your PC or laptop. They are a great way to boost an older devices quality, without having to buy a new device. They are a good saving purchase for the more money concisions buyer.

Whilst they are not necessarily needed, the benefits of having a sound card are ten fold. They can increase your music’s quality, making listening to songs, watching movies or playing games a much more enjoyable experience.

They can also be added to headphones and other music-based devices, such as speakers. This can help improve the listening quality of your music whilst you are on the go too.

Having a sound card in these products is great as their primary use is to share sound with its user. Most of these products do have the card already, but keep an eye on them and get them checked if you believe the sound quality is deteriorating.

Closing Thoughts

Whilst sound cards are still a very influential purchase, their importance for the everyday user is somewhat questionable. They are more practical for musicians, film editors or those that work with music on a daily basis.

Regardless of this, if you believe that you would seriously benefit from the addition of a sound card, or another one, in your PC then you should! If you are a big gamer, the benefits of incorporating a sound card to your games would be epic, the same can be said for music and film enthusiasts too.

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Paschal Okafor is NaijaTechGuide Team Lead. The article What is a Sound Card and Why are they Used? was written by NaijaTechGuide Team. The article was last modified: November 23rd, 2020

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